This report outlines the methodology and key findings of an evaluation into the effectiveness of public advice issued under section 39A of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).
When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decides not to assess a proposal referred under section 38, it may provide to any person or authority advice about the environmental aspects of the proposal under section 39A.
Over the past decade the EPA has given public advice for approximately 300 proposals. Of these, six were chosen for this evaluation project based on a prescribed selection process. The proposals selected included a sample from a variety of industry groups and geographical regions in Western Australia.
A qualitative evaluation methodology was applied, which included: desktop analysis of information held by the EPA; public information and reports obtained from the proponent and decision making authorities (DMAs); proponent and DMA interviews; and site visits.
Each proposal evaluated was measured against five criteria: proponent awareness of the public advice issued by the EPA; application of the public advice by the proponent; application of the public advice by relevant DMAs; the appropriateness of the public advice in relation to the environmental outcomes sought; and an analysis of the effectiveness of the public advice in achieving environmental outcomes.